23rd september 2012 - soft launch
Bromley Council, who are joint land owners together with LB Southwark, permitted restricted access to the subway on 23 September after they were satisfied that appropriate safety precautions were in place for such a one-off event. These included the requirement that visitors must register in advance so that small, supervised groups could be allowed into the subway in 30-minute timeslots after they received safety briefings and protective hardhats.
hrh the duke of gloucester visits the subway
20th september 2013 - subway opens for open house
Crystal Palace Subway opens its doors to the public for the first time in 16 years. 280 people successfully apply for tickets in a ballot and are able to visit the subway. Using the park side entrance visitors must wear a hard hat for the entire visit, tours are timed entry for groups of 30 people. On the same day FCPS launch volunteer lead project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to work with people on researching the history of the subway.
May 2014 - art workshop for young people
june 2014 - tour guides trained
august 2014 - art workshop for young people
21st & 22nd september 2014 - open house and exhibition
798 people visit Crystal Palace Subway over 2 days during Open House while almost 900 people visit the Concert Platform (Rusty Laptop) for a heritage exhibition about the history of the subway. The exhibition includes artwork by young people and local artists, multimedia and Southwark Model Railway Club's Crystal Palace High Level Station layout.
19th august 2015 - members of l'arche community visit the subway
19th & 20th september 2015 - Open house
833 people visit the subway across two days using the park side entrance. Visitors must wear a hard hat for the entire visit, tours are timed entry for groups of 30 people. FCPS strongly support local artists and makers were pleased to offer artists the opportunity to sell their work at the event.
2015 multiple backers for new gate project
Both Southwark and Bromley councils supported the gate project, but funding came from many sources – local groups (the Crystal Palace Campaign, the Dulwich Society, the Norwood Society, the Sydenham Society), Heritage of London Trust, local businesses, local residents, visitors and on-line donations.
The whole Crystal Palace community has played an instrumental part in the project’s success, including local businesses. One of the first to come on board, following the director’s daughter seeing the subway space in Open House London 2015, was Acacia Learning. Other local businesses donating to the campaign were the subway’s neighbours Westow House (Antic London) and nearby Gipsy Hill restaurant Eastern Cuisine. Local antique shop Bambino also made a significant donation as did local estate agent Martin and Co at Crystal Palace.
From pennies to pounds, local residents and visitors to the area alike have donated through collection points at The Albert Public House, Crystal Palace Barbers, Crystal Eyes Opticians, Brown and Green, Merlin Shoes, Sefgrove Chemist and Smash Bang Wallop.
2016 New gate installed on the southwark side of the road
17th & 18th september 2016 - open house
3708 people visit Crystal Palace Subway across 2 days using the new gate on the Southwark side of the road.
18th june 2017 - Crystal Palace festival open day
1247 people visited in just 5 hours as part of Crystal Palace Festival.
10th september 2017 - Heritage Open Day
16th & 17th september 2017 - open house
3507 people visit Crystal Palace Subway across 2 days using the new gate on the Southwark side of the road.
11th november 2017 - put that light out!
Alarms and Excursions took over the subway for one night and created an evening of poetry, acoustic music and dance with the theme of remembrance inspired by the subway's time as an air raid shelter.
9th december 2017 - christmas craft market
In partnership with Beth Mander of Handmade Palace and the Paxton Centre, all makers were asked to have one piece on their stall that reflected the heritage of Crystal Palace Park.
17th june 2018 - summer craft market as part of Crystal Palace festival - 2600 visitors
8th september 2018 - heritage open day - 697 visitors
23rd September 2018 - Open House in torrential rain - 1242 visitors
16th june 2019 - Summer Craft Market as part of Crystal Place Festival - 2216 visitors
21st july 2019 - defy gravity event
FCPS part funded this community event in celebration of the circus, entertainment and sporting heritage of Crystal Palace. The subway was open for 3 hours and in that time 502 visitors took part in guided tours where they entered the subway on the Southwark side and left on the park side. This was the first time the subway had been used as an underpass in over 40 years.
14th september 2019 - heritage open day - 730 visitors
22nd september 2019 - open house - 1820 visitors
24th november 2019 - Holmesdale Fanatics and 1st Crystal Palace Scout Group visit
29th october 2019 - Optimism about future of Crystal Palace Subway - bromley press release
The Crystal Palace Subway is set to receive a grant of £2.34m towards its restoration. It is hoped that the Strategic Investment funding will trigger further restoration funding securing the Subway’s future and enabling Historic England’s ‘at risk’ status to be removed.
The Subway is a Grade II* listed building located under Crystal Palace Parade. It is in extensive disrepair and is on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk register. The news follows the Council’s Executive’s agreement to endorse the recommendations of the Strategic Investment Pot’s evaluation panel. Whilst the confirmation of the grant relies on the support of all 33 London boroughs, including the City of London, and will not be confirmed until mid-November; the grant panel’s recommendation is testament to the increasing recognition of the international importance of Crystal Palace’s heritage.
Councillor Peter Morgan, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing said, “This is excellent news - the progress made to ensure the future of the Subway is also testament to what can be achieved when organisations big and small work together. Since 2014 the Friends group, Bromley Council and Historic England have worked in partnership to enable each other to get the best outcome for this building, for the benefit of local people and the nation as a whole. Finally securing this grant will be a great exemplar of what can be achieved when people come together.”
The Crystal Palace Subway has a dedicated Friends group and is one of the most popular Open House sites in London. In 2017 the Subway hosted 3,507 visitors as part of Open House London, making it the 6th most visited venue out of the 838 sites that took part. In the last three years over 22,000 have visited the subway on volunteer run open days.